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duck patrol

Lake trout ice rods

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I have 3 different rods for ice laker fishing. Forgive me I dont know names of the rod makers.

I bought a 36" black with cork grips for a baitcaster from gander mountain last year. It's a med/heavy and worked well with a low profile reel with 30lb line.

Gander Mountain also stocks a heavy jigging 28" baitcaster rod that is nice for Ambassadeur sized reels. You can't miss it because it's red and blue. They are inexpensive, too.

Also, last year I used a spinning setup with 15lb line for smaller lures and shallower water. I did trigger some finicky fish in deep water and swift currents with those. I bought the cheapy clearance models at Fleet Farm. They only had 2 rod guides and bad grips but they worked.

I use power pro line and buy the smallest swivels to attach a 20' leader of 12-20 lb mono line. The swivel needs to make it through your level wind or bail. 15-30 lb power pro is plenty and still cuts current, FYI.

For lures, I like Northland Bionic bucktails, kastmaster spoons, and I have Salmo chubby darters and Spro bucktail jigs on the way from Cabela's, too!

Hope it helps.

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You can use your winter walleye gear just to get started. I have picked up a couple of the Jason Mitchell Mackinaw laker rods that I have put some level wind reels on just because the deeper depths and the line twist they just seem to work better. It is those flying lures like jigging raps and airplane jigs that really get the twist going. Jason Mitchell has come out with a 38" spinning rod that I want to check out mostly for jigging with the lures that are lighter and don't twist the line as much and for live bait under a slip bobber.

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Jason Mitchell Baitcaster with Abu 5500

Thorne Bro 36" Professional Plus spinning with Abu

Scotty Mitchell 42 casting rod with a Abu 6000.

As far as jigs, the guys above named a few I have.

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Here are the four rod & reel combinations I typically use for lake trout:

  • St. Croix Premier Ice 32" Heavy with an Abu Garcia Cardinal 101

  • Berkley Lightning Rod Dave Genz Series 36" Medium Heavy with an Abu Garcia Ambassedeur 5500C3 (these rods aren't made any more but there are some still out there in a few stores)
  • Frabill Ultra Ice 32" Medium with an Abu Garcia Cardinal 100U
  • Berkley Lightning Rod Dave Genz Series 30" Medium with a Shimano Sedona 500FA (here again, these rods are no longer manufactured but there are a few floating around)

An the three spinning reel set-ups I have them spooled with Berkley Fire Line Crystal Ice 6lb test (I don't know how they get 6lb test because the stuff is definitely stronger than that). The baitcaster has 14lb. mono.

They are all great rods and have their function. I caught a fish between 6 & 7 pounds on the medium action Frabill last year and it was a blast because the rod played a lot of the action from the fish. The St. Croix is a good rod because of the length and the back bone it has for getting a strong hook set into lake trout.

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I just picked up a Rapala 32" Medium Heavy rod for $8. It seems like a really nice rod for that price. I have a Cabela's UL reel that I put on it. The reel was about $20 6 or 7 years ago. For $28 it should be a pretty good combo.

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